Monday, July 1, 2013

Little Thumbs Up - Ginger





For thousands of years, from ancient Indians, Chinese, Arabians to the Romans,  ginger has been used as a spice and a medicine. Although it is commonly described as a root, it is in fact a rhizome, a stem that grows out from the plant underground, and from which small roots will sprout, as well as new green shoots.

Ginger is commonly used to treat various types of “stomach problems,” including motion sickness, morning sickness, colic, upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, nausea caused by cancer treatment, nausea and vomiting after surgery, as well as loss of appetite. Other uses include pain relief from arthritis or muscle soreness, menstrual pain, upper respiratory tract infections, cough, and bronchitis. Ginger is also sometimes used for chest pain, low back pain, and stomach pain.

For culinary uses, ginger usually comes in powdered form or fresh. Fresh ginger rhizome has a thin brown skin and pale flesh inside. The younger rhizomes have a mild taste, but the later they are harvested, the more pungent they are.

The Chinese have been using ginger in Chinese cuisine for thousands of years. Its pungent flavor is a great compliment to many dishes and it effectively removes fishy flavor in fish and other seafood. Ginger and garlic are common and must-have in Chinese stir-fry dishes.

In India, fresh ginger is one of the main spices used for making pulse and lentil curries and other vegetable preparations. Fresh, as well as dried, ginger is used to spice tea and coffee, especially in winter. Ginger powder is also used in certain food preparations, particularly for pregnant or nursing women, the most popular one being katlu which is a mixture of gum resin, ghee, nuts, and sugar.

In Japan, ginger is pickled to make beni shoga and gari or grated and used raw on tofu or noodles. It is also made into a candy called shoga no sato zuke. In the traditional Korean kimchi, ginger is either finely minced or just juiced in order to avoid the fibrous texture and added to the ingredients of the spicy paste just before the fermenting process.

In the West, one of the most popular uses of ginger in the kitchen is to make candy or sweets such as ginger ale, gingerbread, ginger snaps, parkin, ginger biscuits and speculaas. For baking, powdered ginger is typically used, but the ground or powdered version isn’t really as good as the fresh.

With its health benefits and uniquely pungent flavor, using ginger in the kitchen makes perfect sense and I have chosen ginger to be the ingredient of the month for our July’s Little Thumbs Up event which I am hosting.

I look forward to seeing all your recipes using ginger in any forms including ground ginger, ginger root, pickled ginger, and more.




74 comments:

  1. Hi Alvin, you are back to blogging! I have a few ginger posts ready, to support u during LTU :)

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    1. Oh yes Yen! I'm back but still recovering from the jet lag! Looking forward to seeing your contribution!

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  2. Hi Alvin, welcome back! WOW...ginger theme for LTU event! Will try my best to submit at least one post to support you :)

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  3. Eh, I thought u were on vacation? Am I missing something? U're back already?? I'm a huge fan of ginger & always adding lots of it into my food. Hope I've time to join the party.

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    1. Hi Shirley Dear! I was away since mid-June! Come join in the fun this July!

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    2. Hahaha! Looks like I've missed out. Just recalled I've a ginger post sitting in my draft. Lol! Will support u all the way :)

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    3. Done! Been a long while since I participated in an event! Great job, Alvin!

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    4. Thanks Shirley! Really appreciate this! :D

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    5. Hope u like my description of u in my post altho I don't know u that long. Lol!

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  4. i thot you forgot to come back for your ginger theme! great info on ginger. will do something for LTU! Cheers!

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    1. Ha Lena! How could I?

      Thanks for your support!

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  5. Ginger? Hmmmm...heaty, not my favourite but some dishes just can't go without it like our Foochow mee sua for instance. My missus would use lots and she would even pound it for use...but I hate spitting out the bits or biting into it so I would cook it in huge chunks that I could easily remove to get it out of the way.

    I've a ginger dish coming up in one of my scheduled posts but no, thank you. Wouldn't want to put myself to shame...all the nice photographs in all your blogs, mine would be such a disgrace. Sobsssss!!!!

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    1. C'mon Arthur! Join in the fun! Your photos are not that bad and I'm always attracted to your interesting stories.

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  6. Alvin, this theme Ginger is perfect because in Chinese, Malay and Indian cooking, ginger is a very common ingredient. I'll see what I can come up with!

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    1. Alvin, I was so excited I spelled my name wrongly on the link :)

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  7. Alvin, I too prepared Huan Chu T'ng last weekend, posting tomorrow. Will join your event soon...

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    1. Hi Kimmy! Looking forward to seeing your post!

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  8. interesting theme :) how do we submit our entries for the event?

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    1. Thanks Alan! To submit, simply click the "Add your link" button above and follow the instruction. Thanks again!

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  9. Thumb up Alvin!

    It is only the early 2nd day of LTU and you have 7 entries! - having me being the 7th link. Love the beautiful ingredient you chose! We will have fun cooking and blogging with this event.

    Zoe

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    1. Thanks Zoe!

      I picked Ginger as I like it as an ingredient in my cooking but come to realise later that it really fits our LTU event as it is widely used in many cultures and cuisines around the world.

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  10. Hi Alvin,
    Yeah! You're back!
    Sorry for the late visit :p

    Yeah! Yeah! Thumb Up Alvin!
    Like Zoe mention its early 2nd Jul you have got 7 entries 你很棒哦!看来您很多粉丝呢!:D
    mui

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    1. Hi Mui! Thanks! Hope the momentum continues!

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    2. Hi Alvin,
      Just submitted my first link..
      Will submit another soon :D
      Have a wonderful weekend.
      mui

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  11. ivy sew http://simplybeautifulhealthyliving.blogspot.comJuly 4, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Hi Alvin,
    I love ginger and have linked Ginger Lemongrass Tea. Hope to submit more posts on ginger :)

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    1. Hi Ivy! Thanks for your support and do submit more!

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  12. i dislike ginger a lot but i don't mind eating the pickled ink ginger from the jap restaurants, hehe

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    1. So many of you dislike ginger?! That's strange! I find ginger such a wonderful ingredient in terms of taste, aroma and health benefits!

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  13. Alvin , ginger lover here :D I've got one soon to-be made ginger dessert and still looking for more ! How's the vacay ?! I bet you bought loads of kitchen gadgets lol

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    1. Vacation was really good! Kitchen gadgets all the way from Canada?? Shhh.... but I did bring back a porcelain serving bowl set and a lantern?!! :P

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  14. ivy sew http://simplybeautifulhealthyliving.blogspot.comJuly 5, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    Hi Alvin, just submitted another link ~ Fragrant Mixed Spices Salmon :)

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    1. Hi Ivy! Thanks for your support! Really appreciate it! :D

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  15. Hi, I'm glad that the LTU theme this month is Ginger! It's a love-hate ingredient and I LOVE it! I will be posting some ginger posts linking to this LTU event soon :-)

    Cheers!

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    1. Hi Nasifriet! Welcome to my blog space and hope you like it here!

      Looking forward to sampling some of your ginger dishes... all the way from Belgium! :D

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  16. Hi Alvin,
    My post is up, a Nyonya chicken dish with lots of ginger!

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  17. Hi Alvin

    Check out post # 37, a very special dish passed down from mother to daughter - with lots of ginger, of course :-)

    Cheers!

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    1. Thanks Nasifriet! Interesting herbs that you used there... gotta try this! :D

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  18. Hi Alvin, I just submitted my ginger post to LTU. Hope you like it.

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    1. Hi there Ann! Thanks for the contribution... Love the ginger pudding! Thumbs up!!! :D

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  19. Hi Alvin, just linked another refreshing soup. Hope you all like it :) Have a nice day...

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  20. Gosh! I nearly forgotten all about this ! Will post & link my gingery recipe ASAP! I've made something ginger a couple of months ago to support your theme , I hope you don 't mind ya. hehehehe BTW great info about ginger!

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    1. Of course I don't mind, Kit! Looking forward to seeing your post!

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  21. ivy sew http://simplybeautifulhealthyliving.blogspot.comJuly 24, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Hi Alvin, just linked another post to the above. Do enjoy :)

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    1. Thanks Ivy! Really appreciate your support! :D

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  22. Wow! You have no problem reaching over 100 entries. Just submitted my 3rd entry (post # 91) ;-)

    Cheers!

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    1. Thank you so much for your support! Greatly appreciated! :D

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  23. ivy sew http://simplybeautifulhealthyliving.blogspot.comJuly 30, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Hi Alvin, Just submitted Kajang Claypot Chicken Wine to the above. Do enjoy :)

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    1. Thanks Ivy! You are definitely among the top few contributors this month! :D

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  24. Hi Alvin, time and tide wait for no man. It's end month, so many more ginger dishes couldn't be prepared to share... next time then..Thanks for hosting this wonderful event. Must find the time to try out the above lovely recipes shared by all blogger friends.

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    1. No worries Kimmy! You had submitted quite a number of recipes already! I have to say a BIG Thank You to you!

      Oh yes, many interesting recipes that we have collated here! I need 3-4 months even if I have the time to attempt one recipe a day! :D

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  25. Hi Alvin, thks for hosting this month's LTU :)
    Ive just submitted my only and one entry :)

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    1. Hi Hi Alice! Nice to meet you here and thank you for your contribution! :D

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  26. ivy sew http://simplybeautifulhealthyliving.blogspot.comJuly 30, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    Alvin, another entry from me and to-date, it's already 102 entries. Great!

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    1. Thanks again, Ivy! 103 and still counting... Hopefully! :D

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  27. And I just added 104, Kerabu Hai Tay that uses bunga kantan, i.e. torch ginger blossom :)

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  28. Whew! Made it just in time! *wiping sweat off**

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    1. Haha Ivy, you are tracking for me very closely! :D

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    2. haha.. just happened to go through all the yummylicious recipes and already droolinggggggggg.... and hungry... it's 108 and hopefully can reach 110!

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  29. Alvin, this is the link for the step-by-step for homemade salted duck eggs. Hope you like it :) Cheers....
    http://simplybeautifulhealthyliving.blogspot.com/2013/07/homemade-salted-duck-eggs.html

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    1. Thanks Ivy but too bad duck eggs are banned in Singapore! Can I use chicken eggs instead?

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    2. Yes Alvin, you can substitute it with chicken eggs but not so flavourful. Better than nothing lor..

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  30. One O Eight! Wow! That's a nice number to wrap up the Ginger theme :-D Now it's time to catch up with all the yummy posts.

    Alvin, thanks for hosting the July LTU event. I enjoyed that alot. You're such a fantastic host, esp giving your time to reply to every single comment. Two thumbs UP for that :-D

    Cheers!

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    1. Thank you once again! The event would not be a successes without everyone's contribution and support! :D

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